Sunday, December 03, 2006

Surreal Estate

Last night, at the end of a three day period of 15 hour work days, I stopped at the Dale Mabry Village Inn for a late night breakfast (by the way, late night breakfast is the greatest meal in the world and the Dale Mabry Village Inn is the greatest late night breakfast destination in the case you're wondering). Anyway, things got weird, as they tend to do when you're tired and it's late at night. I was about half finished with my meal when the two tables full of senior citizens next to me suddenly broke out in a fully harmonized rendition of "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas". This completely freaked me out. Not because I'm (overly) phobic about elderly people or have any kind of weird resentment towards Christmas, but because it was like something that would happen in a movie. I feel the same way every time I witness high-speed car chases and talking animals. I noticed these folks were wearing jackets that said S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A., which is an organization of barbershop quartet enthusiasts and easily the most unwieldy acronym ever. The fact that they were members of a group and not just individuals who happened to be so moved by the festive holiday spirit as to break into song freaked me out even more. I thought I knew my town but I had no idea there were gangs of senior citizens roaming the streets of Tampa at night and harmonizing about the virtues of sweet Adelaide and telling Bill Bailey to come home, whoever the hell they are. More importantly, should we all be concerned? Let me rephrase that: Exactly how petrified with terror should we be? Because if the barbershop quartets are this organized, there's no telling what the Mummers and Cloggers have up their crazy, highly-idiosyncratic niches.

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